Many of you asked us to let you know what you could do for us, so this is what we are asking: Please write down any special memories that you have of Duane or anything you would like to say to him or us and send them to us. Too often, we do not comprehend the specialness of those who have been loaned to us by God, and this will help us know of the impact he had on your life, or of the memories that you have of him.”
I’m going to start sharing some of those memories I’ve collected with you, the readers of this “Tribute to Duane” blog. This first one came from Duane’s cousin, our nephew, Joe Hunt:
“I want to first let you know we have been praying for you both. Duane’s death has been difficult to cope with and understand, but to know we will someday be with him again for eternity is comfort that only we as believers in Christ enjoy. I wanted to share a memory I have of Duane for your book.
One day Chris and I (probably when Chris was watching Duane) took Duane for a ride in an International Scout I was driving at the time. Duane was seven or eight and we were in high school. Off we went, and our first stop was the Crooked Creek Road state shed. We thought we would try driving the Scout up a sand pile. As we attempted this silly stunt, Duane was laughing away in the back seat. Just as we started up the pile and the sky came into view through the windshield, it stalled and we rolled backward until the rear bumper stopped us when it hit the ground. Duane was still laughing away and Chris and I had joined in laughing. Well, to get the truck unstuck, we rocked the vehicle back and forth, and Duane continued to laugh and giggle away. We finally got unstuck and Duane finally stopped laughing. He really had a good time that day hanging out with his older brother and cousin. We really enjoyed being with him on that day as well. Duane’s untimely death has reinforced in me the importance of today and what we do with it. The importance of our faith in God, cherishing time spent with family, and staying busy doing the things we enjoy most with those close to us.”
Thanks for sharing that story, Joe. I can just hear Duane giggling and then you two laughing heartily. That was excellent closing advice, too. I like to say, "Live with no regrets."
(Here's Joe and Chris at about the age they were at the time of this little caper!)
Is there anything that can give you more joy than the sound of a child’s laugh? You just can't resist laughing when you hear a baby or young child laugh. I love the sound of it. That sound is one of the highlights of my days when I babysit our grandchildren. Laughter is so good for the soul.
Unfortunately, I sometimes feel as though it doesn’t come easily for me. I often think that if there was one word to describe me, it just might be “melancholy.” I do believe, though, that when I realize I am feeling blue, I can choose to change that. To quote a popular TV speaker, Joyce Meyer, I can "think about what I'm thinking about." I can deliberately find a funny movie to watch. I can determine to focus on the good things in life. I can choose to, as my Sunday School teachers taught me, count my blessings. November is an appropriate month to focus on thanksgiving and counting our blessings. Not only do I believe it’s important to do that, but I believe it is to my detriment if I do not choose to be thankful and instead choose to focus on that which makes me feel melancholy.
I choose not to have anxious thoughts. I choose to laugh and have a glad heart! I choose a continual feast! (I think I can hear Duane saying, "Yay, Mom - you got it!")